This collection consists of 11 scrapbooks of clippings from California newspapers of the
1930s. Topics include California places and historical events, biographies, book reviews,
and western history. Included are typescript transcriptions of historical articles as
well as some correspondence regarding Whitsell's research. The only scrapbook devoted to
a single theme is "No.50" which is dedicated to "California duels." Whitsell's numbering
indicates that there were at one time a very much larger collection of these scrapbooks
than is to be found here.
Leon Otto Whitsell, lawyer and civic official, was admitted to the Iowa bar in 1900. He
then practiced law in Idaho and Colorado until 1910, when he began citrus farming in
Orange County, Calif. He was elected to the Orange County Board of Supervisors from 1923
to 1925 and was also President of the Orange County Community Chamber of Commerce.
Governor Richardson appointed Whitsell to the California Railroad Commission (1925-1938)
and he was elected President of the Commission in 1928. Whitsell was a member of the
Commonwealth Club of San Francisco and Grand Master of the Masons of California (1938
-1939). His hobby was the study of California history.
Collection is open for research.